(A classic fish stew fit for a rock star!)
A FEW years ago we were privileged to have Rod Stewart as a client at The Pink Geranium which was my first ever restaurant back in the good old days!
I will always remember that when he walked in, the whole restaurant went absolutely quiet! He had such a presence, nobody bothered him apart from one client wanting to know why he gave up playing football to sing!
I came out of the kitchen and asked what he would like me to cook, he was with his wife Rachel Hunter. He replied that he loved fish to start like scallops and he loved lamb. So I went back to my kitchen and cooked him a mini bouillabaisse with scallops. It’s a sort of fancy fish stew with a sauce made from Lobster and prawn shells, it is delicious. You could serve it with scallops or a mixture of shellfish (as we do at The Little Geranium in La Cala). Its actually a great Christmas dish because it’s a real treat and by adding lobster or prawns and other fish and shellfish makes it extremely decadent as a sharing dish for the centre of the table just like the French serve it. The other useful thing is that the sauce which is absolutely delicious can double up as a soup ( Or even an amuse…A pre starter to amuse the taste buds). We often serve it like this in a foamy format drizzled with homemade truffle oil.
Anyway back to Rod because when I approached his table to check everything was OK, he stood up and kissed me on the lips! Id marry you if I wasn’t already married he said. I think you like marriage a bit too much I laughed and Rachel didn’t look amused and so I tried to undig myself and made it worse! Back to the kitchen Chef Rod shouted out!
So here it is the best Bouillabaisse you will ever eat, it’s a dish that is always on the menu at The Little Geranium with my signature on it. Not everyone knows the story of why it became a signature dish but when your recipes are endorsed by a rock star, they qualify!
Trimmings and pieces from a lobster ( Can be a frozen lobster as its just for sauce)
500g of whole prawns
500g of Lobster shells ( or prawn shells)
125 ml tomato concentrate paste or Frito
1 litre of fish stock ( You can make this or buy a ready made one)
3 sticks of fresh celery( chopped )
1 leek ( cleaned and washed and chopped into smallish pieces)
1 onion ( peeled and sliced)
4 cloves garlic ( peeled and sliced)
2 pieces star anise
½ glass of Pernod to finish
2 glasses white wine
1 glass of brandy
250 ml thick cream
1 dessertspoon of cornflour optional
In a large pan sweat off the shells and fish pieces and add the whole prawns. Now sweat the vegetables and star anise with the shells and prawns until coloured. Now add the tomato paste and then finally the fish stock.
Cook out on simmer for at least an hour.
To finish add the cream and cook and whisk it in for a few minutes then pass the contents through a sieve mashing as much of the prawn and shells to extract the flavor or use a blender and blend the contents and then pass through a sieve into a fresh pan and reduce a little. Finally add the wine, brandy and Pernod whisk in and taste and adjust seasoning. If you need the sauce to be a little thicker add a little cold water to the cornflour and whisk in. Ensure that you cook the cornflour out for a minimum of 10 mins.
To serve add a little warm milk and blend the contents with an electric hand blender until light and foamy.
For a bouillabaisse you can add something like this below per portion all cooked separately then simply pour the lovely sauce over and enjoy!
Bouillabaisse fish ( Approx per person as a main course or half it as a starter)
2 king scallops pan fried
6 large prawns simply grilled
½ tail ( or a claw) of cooked fresh lobster
6 cooked mussels in their shells
4 clams in their shells
A small piece of poached fresh salmon ( optional)
Serve with warm crusty bread and some Aioli on the side
Recipe by Steven Saunders FMCGB